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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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Us 34, Syria 29, Israel 28, Colorado 20, U.s. 9, Sanford 8, United States 7, Angie 7, Iran 7, South Carolina 7, Washington 7, Adrian Dantley 6, America 6, Christine 6, Mark Sanford 6, Orlando 5, Florida 5, Cnn 5, Tom Clements 5, Ted Turner 4,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    March 20, 2013
    4:00 - 6:00am PDT  

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i think this is going to be a topic of discusion that will now move to the very top of the agenda. it was going to be syria, and the use of possible use of chemical weapons there was going to be on the agenda anyway. but now it's taken on more urgency. this has always been a pressing issue for israel because it shares a border with syria. and there are many challenges there. but you have to remember because of this nation's deep concern about the iranian nuclear threat for them that will always be a burning question right now. and so while the syrian chemical weapons is important to them they're not going to let the question of iran get overshadowed by the troubles in syria. so -- but now they'll have two issues competing for dominance. and you know what ends up getting lost in all this is the press for peace talks between israel and the palestinians.
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that sort of could get pushed down on the agenda even further than it already was. >> we're looking at pictures of the president getting into his car. benjamin netanyahu will be driving off. there were a lot of smiles there. there was a lot of touching. a lot of glad handing right there. it seems as if these two men want to send a message that they are getting along. there's been a lot of questions about that over the last couple of years. >> well you know they're bffs all of a sudden. you get re-elected everybody loves each other. you know. absolutely. and i think that you have to remember that the prime minister of israel just formed a very fragile coalition government, and so the president, it's very shaky ground in israel, as well, in terms of his approval among israeli jews. many of them are sort of neutral about president obama. they don't dislike him but they don't adore him. and so for each man there is a
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big reason to show that they are in good for the other guy, to get some credit here in israel. and so, yes, there is good reason for each to show that all those old wounds are well on their way toward healing. nobody here is going to pretent that they don't have troubles. but they are showing that they can get along. >> keep looking for those smiles. thanks to jessica yellin in tel aviv this morning. we will come back to you over the course of the morning. this went from what was going to be a symbolic visit to one where all of a sudden there are urgent matters to discuss with the specter of chemical weapons possibly being used in syria. we want to go to our senior international correspondent ivan watson in amman, jordan, this morning. and ivan, yesterday syrian state media claimed that opposition forces launched a chemical attack in aleppo province. killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100. the rebels deny that charge and they actually accuse regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. there are these dueling charges
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of chemical weapon use. what are you hearing this morning? >> some more finger pointing. the syrian government saying that 9 rebels, as they call terrorists, may have used chemical weapons that were smuggled in by supporters like turkey or qatar against this town which is largely a government loyalist town populated by shiites, and killing 25 people, wounding doz dozens and syrian state tv airing interviews with some of the survivors saying that they smelled chlorine. the rebels quickly accusing the regime of carrying out this attack and pointing to the fact that the syrian government has used dozens of scud surface-to-surface missiles against its own cities and towns throughout just the last couple of months. some chemical weapons experts say there is very little evidence that we've seen thus far from the syrian state tv reports really conclusively showing that any chemical
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weapons were used here. >> we have these dueling charges there. a lot of people wondering whether the regime is charging the rebels with using chemical weapons as a pretext so that they can then go use chemical weapons as a sort of response. right, ivan? that is one of the many conspiracy theories out there. we have to remember that just two days ago the syrian government carried out air strikes deep into neighboring lebanon to the west. it has ramped up consistently over the course of the last two years its use of force not only against rebels, and civilian population centers, but also against neighboring governments. now if you ask syrian people what they think about the threat of chemical weapons, john, many of them will just say, we're getting killed as it is. day to day, more than 70,000 people killed in the last two years, i don't care whether it's bullets or bombs or air strikes or chemical weapons that kill us, something is killing us day after day and it needs to stop.
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>> a dire situation no matter how you slice it. ivan watson our thanks to you. >> of course the movement of chemical weapons is one of the red lines for this white house and what they're watching so closely after u.s. engagement. the white house pentagon officials closely monitoring these developments. president obama's chief of staff dennis mcdonough told jake tapper they take the use of chemical weapons, quote, very seriously. >> we are going to be very clear to the syrian regime, as we have been throughout, and to all the syrian supporters throughout the world, and then obviously to our partners in the region, that if this is substantiated obviously it does suggest that the president's just said that this is a game changer and we'll act accordingly. >> game changer. so does that mean the united states would take some kind of military action? chris lawrence live at the pentagon for us. good morning, chris. >> good morning, christine. u.s. officials are telling us that they have seen the regime moving the chemical weapons away from some of the urban fighting areas over the last month or two. and the pentagon has been updating its military options so
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that if president obama requests them, they're ready to go. these sources are telling us that the u.s. has plenty of firepower in the area, including fighter jets on board aircraft carriers, as well as other ships that have precision guided tomahawk missiles. the danger is that striking chemical weapons, you know, runs the risk of disbursing this agent out into the civilian population, so some of the other options that they're looking at are trying to perhaps, if they had to, bomb runways to prevent planes from taking off, or even cutting the lines of communication between the regime commander, and those troops on the ground, who would actually have to push the button. bottom line, u.s. officials are saying that the more desperate bashar al assad becomes, the more dangerous he also becomes. >> we've been very clear about our concerns that the assad regime is increasingly beleaguered, that it finds that
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the violence that it is using by conventional means is inadequate, including its barbaric use of scuds so we are quite concerned that they will resort to other weapons. we've made clear that this would constitute a red line for the united states. the president could not have been clearer about it. >> there are no plans right now to put any boots on the ground. but last year, the pentagon did do a report analyzing what it would take to secure those chemical weapons. they concluded it may take up to 70,000 troops on the ground. >> all right, chris lawrence at the pentagon, thanks. in just a few minutes we're going to talk to israeli government spokesman mark regev about the latest in syria and the president's trip to israel. a disturbing story from colorado. zoraida sambolin has that. >> this just in to cnn the executive director of colorado's corrections department shot and killed last night in his monument, colorado, home. 5-year-old tom clements was
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appointed to that post two years ago after serving in the missouri corrections department for over three decades. he is survived by a wife and two daughters. and according to a local affiliate police do not have a suspect or a motive for the killing. you know, we will continue to follow this story for you and bring you the latest developments. in other news, police in orlando releasing new evidence of what could have been a massacre on the university of central florida campus. a 911 call from the suspect's roommate may have put an end to a potentially deadly attack inside a ucf dormitory. police have released images of suspect james oliver seevakumaran detailed get a detailed checklist. they have also put out a video showing the moment the officer discovered the suspect's body. cnn's ed lavandera is live in orlando. good morning to you, ed. >> reporter: good morning, zoraida. well we've heard from that roommate who first stared down the would-be killer in this case who lived in this dorm room on the third floor. and what he describes was
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extremely chilling. >> reporter: the fire alarm is blaring as arobo babahkani calls 911. his roommate and would-be killer james oliver seevakumaran has just pointed a gun right at him. >> my roommate just pulled a fire alarm and he's got a gun out. >> where are you at? >> in the university of central florida orlando. the fire alarm went off, i opened the door to see what was going on and he's there with like some sort of like gun like large assault gun. >> i was definitely scared. but i was scared but calm. i was just taking cover, like in my room behind objects. >> campus police released this dramatic helmet camera video of officers making their way inside the gunman's dorm room. this might be disturbing for some to watch but this is the moment police find the 30-year-old lying dead on the floor. they also found that he
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apparently was planning a massacre, with an arsenal of weapons and explosives. >> i don't think that you acquire two 110-round magazines and numerous .22 capacity magazines, and that you purchase 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and that you purchase 45 ammunition. i don't think you just do that as a joke. >> reporter: investigators say they also found a bizarre handwritten timeline for the attack. in seevakumaran's words he would visit this bar called the mad hatter, get drunk, then go back to his dorm, take a shower, shave up, and then get equipped. scratching off items as he went down the list. the last item read, good luck and give them hell. the would-be killer's roommate had lived with him for the last seven months. >> i tried to get to know him and stuff but, you know, we're not friends. he's just very anti-social. he doesn't -- he doesn't want to know me. he doesn't want to make friends. just keeps to himself. >> you know, the question that
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remains that many people around here are still asking themselves is why did this would-be killer eventually turn the gun on himself and not carry out what appears to have been a planned massacre? many people grateful that that didn't happen. but that question still remains out there. the roommate says that he had been suffering from -- struggling with money problems and those types of things and perhaps he felt cornered. >> wow. >> dard? >> that roommate is a hero and so composed even throughout that 911 call just incredible. thank you, ed lavandera reporting live for us. coming up later this hour we'll hear from university of central florida police chief richard beary. a gas explosion in grand junction, colorado, has injured at least three people, and it's forced authorities to evacuate the neighborhood. mesa county sheriff's office says a natural gas leak caused the house to explode on tuesday afternoon. the house next door also caught fire. that explosion forced the evacuation of two nearby schools, and all the homes within a ten block radius, as well.
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mark sanford's political career is officially revived. the former south carolina governor finishing first last night in a special election advancing to a runoff election in two weeks. in his attempt to win a house seat, sanford had to step down as governor as you know after lying about an extramarital affair that was back in 2009. he picked up 37% of the vote last night, well short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. still, sanford says it was a humbling victory. >> what the voters hopefully care about is not my personal journey, what they care about is what am i going to do, if elected, to watch out for their pocketbook or their wallet. so sanford wins the runoff election in two weeks he'll face democrat elizabeth colbert busch in may. she is the sister of tv comedian stephen colbert. the next hour we'll be joined by teddy turner the son of cnn's founder ted turner. he ran last night against sanford. didn't fare too well.
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>> yeah. >> what a family story, stephen colbert's sister, who is colbert. ted turner's son teddy. >> you know why? >> his name is colbert. he changed it for the tv. >> what i was told was that the parents offered up to the kids the decision, you could say colbert, you could say colbert. so there we have it. >> all right. thanks, zoraida. >> so next on "starting point" the fight to put disturbing pictures on cigarette packaging comes to an end. we'll tell you why the government is giving up. >> and more on our top story this morning. we're talking to israel's government spokesperson mark regev about the reports of chemical attacks in syria, and what these concerns could mean for the region. [ man ] i got this citi thankyou card and started earning loads of points. we' leave that there. you got a weather balloon, with points?
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welcome back to "starting point" everyone. president obama arriving in tel aviv just in this past hour. this is his first trip to israel as president and as we've been saying it really is taking on even more significance this morning because of syria's possible use of chemical weapons. >> israeli government spokesman mark regev joins us now from jerusalem. good morning. i want to first talk to you about these troubling reports -- >> good morning >> from, from a couple of members of congress talking about people in washington talking about their concerns about chemical weapons in syria, that syria has used chemical weapons against its own people let's listen to what dianne feinstein said yesterday to wolf blitzer. >> the white house has to make some decisions in this. i think the days are becoming more desperate. the regime is more desperate. we know where the chemical weapons are. it's not a secret that they're there. and i think the probabilities are very high that we're going
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into some very dark times and i think the white house needs to be prepared. >> and you were seeing there the house intelligence chair mike rogers also in that interview echoing those concerns about where we're headed and israeli newspapers this morning are citing security forces there saying that chemical weapons have been used. what can you tell us about this at this moment? >> well obviously we share the concerns of people in washington. and it's not only the syrian regime that has those chemical weapons but as syria fragments, as the conflict there continues and we see syria break up we are very concerned about the possibility that those sorts of very dangerous weapons, chemical weapons and others, will fall into the hands of extremist groups like hezbollah or al qaeda. imagine if those sort of hard-line terrorist groups were to get their hands on chemical weapons. >> well, do you feel, though, at this point, that they have been used based on what we're hearing yesterday and does your intelligence tell you that they are now in play?
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>> we're being cautious like the u.s. government. we haven't addressed that issue publicly yet. we might soon. but the concern has been there for a very long time. you have a regime that is falling apart. a brutal regime which is apparently on its last leg, that is fighting for its life. you have on the ground in syria, on the side supporting assad you have groups like the iranian revolutionary guard on the ground with the assad regime. you have lebanese hezbollah on the ground with the assad regime. on the opposition side, you've got some actors that are also very problematic groups affiliated with al qaeda. and as we see syria fragment if we're going to see the linkup between these sort of extremist groups and weapons of that nature, chemical weapons, specifically, that's a problem with a capital "p." >> what are you going to do about it, then, sir, if it is that big of a problem, what will israel do? >> well, to be frank, i can assure you that when my prime minister sits down later on
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today with president obama in their working meetings, that will be a very high item on the agenda, because this is an issue that we have to discuss. it's clear that we don't want to see the use of chemical weapons and we don't want to see chemical weapons fall into the hands of dangerous terrorists that are all over syria, unfortunately. and that is one of the items on the agenda. it's very clear that's at the very top of the agenda. >> but i'm not hearing confirmation that those have been used at this point. you're not confirming that. mark regev, thank you so much. >> yes, that's correct. >> okay, thank you. thank you, and of course we'll be following developments in israel all day as the president is on his first trip there as president of the united states. >> ahead on "starting point" it is the return of the twinkie. the iconic snack cake coming soon to a store shelf near you. we have the blessed details. >> and don't forget to watch cnn's new show "the lead" hosted by there he is -- >> the blessed jake tapper. >> dashing jake tapper today at 4:00 p.m. eastern. i have a cold, and i took nyquil,
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bailout in cyprus flare up. summer won't come soon enough for twinkie lovers. you know who you are. a bankruptcy judge approving hostess' sale to two investment firms and bringing twinkies, ho-hoes and ding dongs back from the dead. the deal said to be worth $410 million. the new owners hope to have twinkies and its snack cake brethren back on your store shelves by summer so you can stop with the locked door in your office and your stash. you'll be able to replenish it soon. and think you can trust labels at the shopping mall? think again. some clothing labeled as being made with fake fur was actually made with real fur. neiman marcus resolve clothing and dr. j.'s dotcom are settling false marketing charges with the federal trade commission. the retailers will not pay any fines but do promise to label all their products correctly going forward or face penalties. imagine if you were going to buy a pair of flats for example, this was a brand-name slippers that had on them fake fur trim. it was real fur. i mean if you were like going for a fake fur product --
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>> that's a serious issue for a lot of people. >> it also shows how in some of these retailers in the production of our apparel they've lost control of their product line. they might not necessarily even know what ingredients are going into their -- there you go. settlement with the fcc. ahead talking with the police chief of the university of central florida as new pictures are released of a gunman's deadly plans. fortunately his plans went astray. >> and it is officially spring. though there is zero proof of it. it happened 30 minutes ago our sources say. why is mother nature failing to get this message? >> and where is the federal investigation into the groundhog lying to the american people? also, the corn val cruise ship "triumph," details ahead. watching "starting point."
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welcome back to "starting point" everyone. our morning team is here right now. katherine robson, reporter for "the wall street journal," and chris reporter from the national journal. thank you so much. we have some terrifying new details this morning emerging right now about the university of central florida and the stuvt who may have been just minutes away, just minutes from carrying out a massacre on campus. 30-year-old james seevakumaran pulled the fire alarm in his dormitory monday in anticipation of the attack but when his roommate spotted a gun he barricaded himself into the bathroom, and called 911. >> the fire alarm went off, i opened the door to see what was going on, and he's there with like some sort of like gun like large assault gun. i don't know if it's a real gun. i don't know what it is. but, i just saw it and i slammed my door shut and locked it.
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>> police arrived on the scene within minutes but by the time they entered the room the suspect had already taken his own life. this video is from helmet cam as they first entered the room. authorities also found a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition along with what appeared to be a handwritten plan of attack ending with the words, give them hell. richard barry is the chief of the university of central florida campus police. thank you for coming in this morning. >> certainly. >> let me read you a quote from the family of the alleged -- the victim here or the, the dead man who was plotting this attack. it says james was a loner and did not have a history of violence. the family does not wish to make any further comments to the media, and they are requesting privacy during this difficult time. the family has requested privacy. he has no history of violence. you have any idea of a possible motive? >> no, we're still conducting an active investigation to try to determine if we can figure out what the motive would be.
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actually the statement the family made matches what we have learned thus far, that he was a loner. that part is very accurate. >> tell me about the list, sir, the list, looks as though he was crossing off items maybe in preparation, he had not crossed off pull the fire alarm, and he had not crossed off go and give them hell. does it look to you like he had planned this very carefully? >> well, certainly, the -- the information we have in the writings that we've recovered indicate that, yes, he did have a plan. it was a checklist probably to keep him on track. we've seen these in other situations across the country. and this one kind of matches that same thing, trying to make sure they stay on track with their -- with their plan. >> let me read you a list of the things that we believe were part of his arsenal, a 45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, a .22 cal bar tactical rifle, a back pack with four homemade explosive devices. two 110-round magazines, 1,000 plus rounds of ammunition. we also understand he had some extra clips being shipped to him
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at the time. if this had gone off, you know i almost hesitate to ask, how bad would it have been? >> well, that is pretty hard to assume how that would have been. the good news is, is because our officers response was so fast, they were well equipped to handle the situation, so if it would have started i think we would have ended it very, very quickly based upon the training that we do for our officers. >> at this point, he was a loner, you say, investigators say he was a loner, and, and in the end, would you ever know the motive here? it doesn't appear that he had any friends. certainly his roommate that he lived with for seven months said that he didn't really know him. >> well, we may never know what the exact motive was. we continue to do some analytical research on his computer to see if we can come up with something there. that's going to take several days because there's a great deal of data on that computer. so we hope to wrap this up and find out what that motivation was. again with these situations, you know, you can't get inside of
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people's heads. we may never know exactly what we do know is that we stopped a bad situation here and for that we're very thankful. >> and i think everyone is very lucky that that is the case. richard beary the chief of the university of central florida police department. thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> all right. i think for 20 minutes it has officially been spring. you wouldn't know it today is the first day of spring snow and cold temperatures still gripping much of the northeast and the midwest. cnn's chris welch is live in minneapolis this morning where the hardy people of minnesota are like, you know, their neighbors in iowa where i'm from, we, this is the time of year when you just have to kind of give up hope, and wait for the first daffodil. they're still waiting. >> you really do have to wait. and yeah, they are still waiting. we were spoiled last year, it was so warm this same time. but look at me now. i'm standing on a snow pile in a parking lot here. this is basically, about 15 feet of dirty snow. it's been cleared from the streets of minneapolis, and put here. now this snow is pretty dirty. so this has been here for quite some time.
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it hasn't had a chance to even begin to melt. now folks all across the country, from the midwest to new england are dealing with this right now. the first day of spring and they're saying enough already. when punxsutawney phil showed up last month he told us to prep for an early spring. well, punxsutawney phil might be full of you know what. today is the official first day of spring but winter's grip appears far from over. from the midwest to new england. late-season winter storms bringing as much as 15 inches of snow in some areas, leading to another round of school closures and travel nightmares. in maine, this was the scene on the roads earlier this week. worcester, massachusetts, saw one of its snowiest winters on record, with totals of more than 100 inches. six of those fell this week. to add insult to injury, all you have to do is think back to
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exactly one year ago. we were in a heat wave. sneakers replaced snowshoes in boston, and this was the scene in manchester, new hampshire. no snow, maybe just a snow cone. it was so warm in fargo, north dakota, this man could ice fish without bundling up. >> 70 degrees up here. and down here it's -- you're sitting on an ice cube. >> reporter: this year that's not the case. so why the contrast? cnn meteorologist chad myers. >> you know the old saying, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. here sometimes you're under the ridge like we were last year. fargo, north dakota, 80 degrees on this date. sometimes you're under the ridge, cold weather all across the same area. fargo this morning, 10 below zero. >> much as i hate to think about what we were at last year. it was 80 degrees on st. patrick's day last year. 8-0. today we might see a high of 23 degrees. balmy 23. but right now we've got a
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windchill of about minus 7. so far cry from that 80 degrees. >> one thing you don't know about chris. chris is 6'8", so that gives you a sense of how tall that snow pile is. a lot of snow in minnesota. >> yeah, exactly. >> chris welch, thanks. for all of you watching us, it will be over soon. i'm no meteorologist but it will be over soon. thanks so much. let's go now to washington, d.c. where the average temper is postponing a popular event in the nation's capital. >> yeah, to say the least. we're actually wondering whether it's reached 20 or april fools' with the weather being what it is on this first day of spring. it's not 39 degrees right now here in washington, d.c., and this cold snap is affecting things like the cherry blossom trees here in the nation's capital. obviously, the first day of the festival. nearly a four-week festival commemorating the cherry blossoms start today. obviously we know that the trees were a gift from japan to the u.s., about 101 years ago.
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but, not many blossoms on the trees that we're looking at. we just wanted to show a few of them. no touching, no climbing on them. take a look right here, christine. we're looking at some of the buds kind of coming out a little bit. park rangers tell us that a few of the other trees have a little bit more, a little bit less of a bud or what have you. some of the people are saying that they think that they'll miss the thing entirely. the national park service thinks that there will be pink blossoms about 3rd to april 6th. take a listen to some people we talked to yesterday. >> came down here today to see them. they're not quite ready. >> i was looking at them, it seems like they're almost ready. i think they're just afraid we're going to get another snow. >> we came last year at the end of the festival and we missed it there, as well. so we were hoping this year that we would get it. but this is her spring break obviously so it dictated when we would come. we're a little disappointed. >> winter is letting go slowly this year. >> now, christine, this time
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last year on march 20th you can take a look at some video the blossoms, the trees had already blossomed this time last year. we had almost 70 degrees on this very day, and my producer tells me that he spoke with a person yesterday who's actually measuring the water around the area. the water temperature is five degrees colder this week than it was last week. >> but the optimist in me is seeing forescythia blooming way back behind you and that comes before cherry blossoms. so maybe it's going to come here very soon. and no you cannot blame the delay. mother nature. mother nature at her finest. shannon travis, thanks. >> even keeping the flowers away. let's go to zoraida with the rest of the top stories. >> good morning to you. president obama landing in tel aviv last hour greeting israeli leaders with a big smile on his face and giving brief remarks. he emphasized that israel is an ally and a friend.
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>> between our nations, to restate america's unwavering commitment to israel's security, and to speak directly to the people of israel and to your neighbors. we stand together because we share a common story, patriots determined to be a free people in our land. pioneers who forged a nation. heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom. and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse society. >> today the president will meet with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu at about noon eastern. his trip will also include the west bank, and jordan. the marines have now widened the ban on ammunition related to monday's deadly training explosion in nevada. it happened at hawthorne army depot. seven marines were killed. and several others were injured.
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officials say the cause of the blast was a 60 millimeter round that detonated inside a mortar tube. in a statement, the marines said, quote, a blanket suspension of the 60 millimeter mortars and associated tubes is now in effect until this review is complete. in a bizarre and highly offensive scene in an ohio courtroom as a judge handed 18-year-old t.j. lane three life sentences for last year's shooting at chardon high school. three students were killed and three others were wounded. first, lane unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a t-shirt with the word "killer" written on it. when given the chance to address the court, lane made an obscene gesture at the victims' families and spoke to them briefly using explicit language, as well. lane smirked throughout the entire hearing and laughed when the prosecutors referred to him as an evil person. that's what actor harrison ford
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told the daily caller when asked about the consequences of forced budget cuts on aviation. he told the house general aviation caucus his main concern is safety. >> this is not just about general aviation. this is about commercial aviation, and passenger safety. and it's a -- it's a critical issue that's got to be addressed immediately. >> ford also says he wants to, quote, persuade the faa to find the funds in their very large budget to prevent some 200 contract towers from shutting down. and lady liberty, i am so happy to share this, it is set to oreopen to the public by jul 4th. the new york city landmark has been closed for over four months because of infrastructure damage from superstorm sandy. massive flooding caused millions of dollars worth of destruction to the docks, boilers, siouxage pumps, and the electrical systems on the island where the statue of liberty stands.
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dennis rodman cannot seem to stop talking about north korean leader kim jong-un. in an interview with the uk sun rodman called him, i guess they're on a first basis, a big kid who loves disco, michael jackson and basketball. rodman says kim asked him to deliver a message to president obama, if we can talk, we can work this out. toes are his words. rodman claims the military elite is behind all that tough talk. he also revealed that kim and his wife reportedly have a second child. a baby girl. i know, john, look at the look on his face. >> i'm still thinking of these 15 minutes for dennis rodman have gone on for an hour and 15 minutes. it's too much. i don't know if we knew kim jong-un had a second child. maybe dennis rodman is providing key intelligence now. although i doubt it. >> absolutely. >> dennis rodman providing key intelligence. >> those words have never been spoken. ahead on "starting point" march madness begins. and it is already starting off mad, and frankly bad for me. >> i am actually way ahead of
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march madness begins. >> yes, the annual rich yule of decreased american work productivity. andy scholes has all the excitement in this morning's bleacher report. >> much of the talk surrounding the first two games was liberty university, who was just the second time ever to make the tournament with 20 losses. it shouldn't be much of a surprise last night they lost. they trailed by seven with four minutes to go. they were almost able to make the comeback.
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but, their last-second attempt would be no good. north carolina a&t holds on for their first ever tournament play. they will play louisville in the second round. the other game featured st. mary's versus middle tennessee state. this was the matthew show. he led st. mary's to a 13-point win. they'll take on memphis in round two. the play-in games will wrap up tonight on trutv. liu brooklyn takes on james madison followed by la salle versus boise state. before heading over to israel, president obama continued his annual tradition of filling out his bracket with espn. last year the president picked two of the final four correctly. his picks for this year's final four are louisville, indiana, ohio state, and florida. the president has two number one seeds, a number two seed and a number three seed. we'll have to see how he does. the power of the plantain must be real. dominican republic team calling the fruit their good luck charm throughout the world baseball classic. and it's hard to argue against it. the dominicans dominated the
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field in the tournament going a perfect 8-0 capped off by last night's 3-0 win over puerto rico in the championship game. he doesn't plan on eating his lucky plantain now that they've won. instead it will be his black diamond because, hey, it's starting to change color. that will happen to fruit after a few weeks. well if you had over to bleacherreport.com you can check out this story in the lineup section. spring training can become a bit of a drag after about a month of meaningless games. so one way phillies have spiced things up is to have hooters girls down the foul line. you can probably guess how this one went. this poor girl made two errors in the same inning and the phillies fans they let her hear about it. and, guys, philly fans have been known to boo santa claus. you know there was no way they were going to let this poor girl off the hook for making two blunders in the same inning. >> it's hard to run in pantyhose, i guess. >> i have nothing to say about that. there's nothing legal that i could say about that that won't get me thrown off tv.
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so thank you, christine. thank you. >> all right ahead on "starting point" a rare public appearance today by britain'spoint" a rare public appearance by queen elizabeth. we'll go live to london for those details. this afternoon tune into cnn's new show "the lead" hosted by jake tapper at 4:00 right here on c ncht ncht. ♪ i am stuck on band-aid brand ♪
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a rare public appearance today from britain's ailing kwoen elizabeth. the queen accompanied by her husband and catherine, the dutchess of cambridge to a ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the london underground. >> the new train there named in her honor we are told. max foster is in london. good morning, max. >> reporter: i think she looks a bit paler than usual, perhaps
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has lost a bit of weight. this is her first major event since she got ill out and about. she arrived by car, of course. but yeah, she was out and about and that's one good thing but she doesn't look as well as she normally does. the dutchess of cambridge about five and a half months joining her at the event. i am told she just received a baby on board badge which is something people on the tube wear to make sure they get a seat. >> the queen had to go out in public because there has been so much talk about her health the last couple of weeks. >> reporter: absolutely. she kept on going out and cancelling engagements afterwards so in the end she said i'm only going to events inside the palace. so much debate about her having to step back a bit. she's refusing to do that but she should be stepping back many say and allowing prince charles
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to perhaps do a bit more. there's a title used in the past in the u.k. which is prince regent, suggesting the prince could take on the role of the monarch whole the queen steps back a bit but so far that hasn't really been the case. she's out and about having fun today. >> max foster, our thanks to you. it is good to see her out. new concerns syria may have used chemical weapons against s own people as president obama arrives for a two-day visit in israel. and today roar arrived? mark sanford gets one step closer to a seat in the house of representatives. next hour we'll talk with ted turner's son, teddy, who ran against sanford and finished a distant fourth.
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good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> and i'm christine romans. soledad is off today. our starting point, president obama in tell telaviv this mor it is the first day of spring allegedly. do not tell that to the folks in the northeast who are battling brutal weather. the former disgraced governor of south carolina one step closer to resurrecting his political career after a big election win last night. and former nba great adrian dantley joining us live. he's making headlines after taking a new job as a school crossing guard. he'll tell us why. a notorious anti-gay church in kansas gets a new neighbor, a rainbow-colored neighbor. is there enough room for both on the same street? it's 8:00 a.m. in the east and "starting point" begins right now.
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our team this morning is katherine rossman and chris, great to see you here. >> let's start with president obama at the start of a historic middle east visit. there's a new sense of urgency because there are mounting concerns that the syrian government may be using chemical weapons on its own people. listen to congressman mike rogers. this is in the situation roof last night with wolf blitzer. >> i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used. we need that final verification. we need to step up in the world community to prevent a humanitarian disaster. >> let's bring in our john king right now, chief national correspondent traveling with the president. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning. syria issue, the iran issue, big concerns for the president. odd for a u.s. president to be
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in israel while on the issue list will be down a bit in part because of what's happening in syria. syria neighbors israel and much of the intelligence the u.s. has been getting comes from the israeli government. it's the president's first overseas trip in the second term and his first visit to israel as president of the united states. a lot of questions about his working relationship and his personal relationship with prime minister netanyahu. they will get to the tough issues, including syria and the prospect of chemical weapons being used in syria. as the president hit the ground the number one priority he wanted to tell the people of the united states, the people of israel and the people of the world is that this is in his words an unbreakable alliance. >> i see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate america's unwavering commitment to
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israel's security and to speak directly to the people of israel and to your neighbors. we stand together because we share a common story. patriots determined to be a free people in our land. pioneers who forged a nation. heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom. and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse societies. >> as the president celebrated that bond, he knows how important the next few days are in everything he says and in all the images. you saw a very friendly relationship, an embrace. both men took their jackets off. people have said they don't get along very well, can they have a working relationship. for them priority number one is irrelevant. the prime minister wants to send a clear message that the united states wants to give diplomacy a chance but if the diplomacy does not work that president obama is prepared to use military force against iran. now then the question of syria, it's interesting. neither government, you played
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the sound bite from mike rogers, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, saying there's a high probability chemical weapons were used. neither government will say much on the record. the obama administration says that if that is true, that would be the red line the president has set in the past but they haven't said whether they have the intelligence evidence to prove it. i spoke to an israeli high government source who said we're not saying anything about that right now for good reason but they promised it would be part of the private conversations between the president and the prime minister. john and christine. >> john, it really does seem like this symbolic trip, was supposed to be a symbolic trip has brought in new urgency with what's going on in syria. let's bring in chris and katherine. >> i was wondering, what are you hearing from folks on the ground about iran? you know, the conversation between the president and the prime minister. is there some sense that there's going to be an announcement at the end of this trip one way or the other or is this all behind the scenes and we're not going to see anything publicly until later down the road? >> reporter: there's no question both leaders will talk about it
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because they will be asked about it when they have a news conference publicly and everyone will be trying to see if there's any difference, any disagreement, any space between the president and the prime minister when it comes to iran. the president did raise some eyebrows here. he gave an interview with an israeli television station where he said he thinks iran is a year or so away from getting to that point of no return, to having the possibility to deploy a nuclear warhead. i spoke to the israeli president yesterday and he said, yes, there are some disagreements between the united states and israel about how far iran is and when is the point of no return. but president perez told me and prime minister netanyahu said he has zero doubt that president obama is prepared to invoke the military option if necessary. they may have a disagreement on timetable. but if they are certain about that, if the israelis have no doubt about the president's commitment in the end, then you'll have a much better working relationship between the president and the prime minister. that's what i would look for on the question of iran. whether there's any space when those two men stand shoulder to
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shoulder, just how big is the space. >> woe wie will be watching. in searia, the assad and rebel forces are accusing each other of using chemical weapons. syrian state media claimed opposition forces launched an attack in aleppo killing 200 and injuring more than 100. they accused regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical weapons themselves. ivan is in amman, jordan, and what do we know right now? >> reporter: well, the principal source of information about this is coming from the syrian government which first came out accusing the rebels of this alleged chemical weapons attack saying 25 people killed, scores wounded, among the dead some syrian military. this took place in a town west of aleppo that is described by rebels as being government controlled. the rebels immediately turned
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around and pointed the finger at the syrian government saying that they misfired some kind of a missile that then caused chemical weapons damage to the people there. there have been some interviews from some survivors on syrian state tv saying they smelled chlorine, that they saw some kind of powder there, but chemical weapons experts that we've talked to say from the very little amount of evidence that we've seen thus far there is nothing conclusive that points to the use of chemical weapons on tuesday in this deadly incident. john. >> ivan, did the syrian people, do you have the sense they see this as a major development in the country? >> reporter: no, because more than 70,000 people have been killed so far, john, in a conflict that's gone on for more than two years. when i have asked syrians in visits to areas right around this town in the past are you worried that the government might try to use chemical weapons stockpiled against you, they said what does it matter? the government shoots us, they
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bomb us with jets and scud missiles. what does it matter which way we get killed, whether it's chemical weapons or bullets or bombs that are used to kill us. john. >> it's interesting, ivan, because woe talked to the israeli government and they would not confirm there had been movement or deployment of those chemical weapons. so confirmation not there but it is a fear that's growing, no question in washington. ivan watson, thanks. >> it does seem like a lot is going on in the region as we've been saying all morning. this was going to be a largely symbolic trip for the president, a photo op. now all of a sudden a lot of very serious urgent matters to discuss. >> i bet in the administration they're wondering if their hand is being forced to address more directly some of the issues with syria and maybe iran. i'm curious if the israeli government doesn't want the attention to be diverted to syria when they want him to focus on iran or if they're glad that he's there in a moment of danger to get a sense of urgency
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that they deal with every day. >> it's interesting, kate, because the president and prime minister don't have a really great relationship. so this was supposed to be a symbolic trip, a building trip to find of get both countries on the right track and now there's all this stress of these developments while they're there. and that i think will play very much into the dynamics of what happens. i wouldn't be surprised if we see a little bit more news made out of this trip than we expected going in. >> it's funny how the news gets in the way of the theatrics sometimes. zoraida sambolin has the rest of the top stories. >> good morning. new details from police investigating what could have been a tragic massacre on the university of central florida campus. a 911 call from the suspect's roommate may have put a stop to a planned attack inside a ucf dormitory. police have released images of suspect james oliver seevakumaran's detailed checklist and also put out a video showing the moment an officer discovered the suspect's body. cnn's ed lavandera is live in
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orlando with the very latest. good morning to you, ed. >> reporter: good morning, zoraida. imagine being this roommate in the middle of the night. fire alarm goes off. he pokes his head out of the door only to find his roommate pointing a gun at him. we're hearing from this roommate for the first time. the fire alarm is blaring as a arabo babakhani calls 911. his roommate has just pulled a gun right at him. >> my roommate just pulled a fire alarm and he's got a gun out. >> all right. where are you at? >> i'm in the university of central florida in orlando. the fire alarm went off. i opened the door to see what was going on and he's there with like some sort of like gun, like large assault gun. i was definitely scared, but i was scared but calm. i was just taking cover like in my room behind objects. >> reporter: campus police released this dramatic helmet
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camera video of officers making their way inside the gunman's dorm room. this might be disturbing for some to watch, but this is the moment police find the 30-year-old lying dead on the floor. they also found that he apparently was planning a massacre with an arsenal of weapons and explosives. >> i don't think that you acquire 210-round magazines and numerous .22 capacity magazines and that you purchase 1,000 rounds of ammunition, i don't think you just do that as a joke. >> reporter: investigators say they also found a bizarre handwritten timeline for the attack. in seevakumaran's words, he would visit this bar called the mat hatter, get drunk, then go back to his dorm. take a shower, shave up and then get equipped, scratching off items as he went down the list. the last item read good luck, and give them hell. the would be killer's roommate had lived with him the last seven months. >> i've tried to get to know him
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and stuff, but we're not friends. he's just very anti-social. he doesn't -- he doesn't want to know me. he doesn't want to make friends. he just keeps to himself. >> reporter: even the would be killer's own family called him a loner. a lot of questions still surrounding the motive, what he might have been thinking going into that night, but authorities still say that they have no motive or any kind of clue as to what he was thinking and why he might have been stockpiling this weaponry. they are going through his computer going through any writings he may have left behind to see if those would shed any clue as to what his motive might have been as well. >> ed, thank you. and today is the first day of spring, but for much of the country it sure feels like the dead of winter. this is what they're going through in new england after a late season. the snowstorm dumped several inches there. snow and cold temperatures are lingering in the upper midwest as well. so let's go straight to jennifer
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delgado. you know, when we spring forward with the time, we're looking forward to erm wouwarmer temper >> right. you want warmer temperatures but the reality is we are going to be cool the next couple of days. a lot of people have been asking why are we so cold right now? the problem is if you compare it to last year, we have this big ridge in place and it shot all that cold air from the jetstream all the way up towards the north. now, when you move ahead to now, we are pulling in all that cold air from the jetstream. with a big ridge to the north, that's why we're going to stay that way. it looks like potentially even through early april. now, some of these temperatures from last year, we talk about chicago. today you'll only see a high of 24 degrees. in 2012 you checked in with 85. and for areas like milwaukee, the high today 21 degrees and 83 last year. now, as we go through the end of the week, we are going to see temperatures still running in
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some locations almost 20 to 30 degrees below average over the next couple of days and potentially another snowstorm could be setting up across parts of missouri and arkansas. could be a major one. zoraida, it's spring, it doesn't feel like it. hopefully the next couple of weeks we'll see more. >> we will patiently wait. thank you very much. the justice department will not ask the supreme court to review a federal appeals court decision that blocks graphic new warnings on cigarette packages. the appeals court ruling says requiring such warnings would be a violation of free speech protection. the fda says it will now work to create new warning labels that comply with the 2009 tobacco control act. members of the anti-gay westboro church in topeka, kansas woke up to a rainbow surprise tuesday morning. take a look. a progressive nonprofit group that owns this house right beside the church decided to paint it the colors of the rainbow flag. that is a symbol of gay and lesbian pride. the group eventually hopes to turn the home into a drop-in center that will support a
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variety of lbgt and anti-bullying efforts. it's called the equality house. you know, they purchased this a while back for about $83,000 and then decided to wait because the guy who runs this not-for-profit agency said he wanted to take his time painting it so it wouldn't be an eyesore in the community. so there you have it. >> westboro baptist, as you well know, is used to doing provocative controversial big statements right now. so perhaps they can hardly complain when a gay rights group does something provocative right across the street. >> they like the media attention so they're probably happy to have the cameras around. >> i think that's a little classier than what the westboro church shows. >> it is such a key moment right now in the issue of gay rights. a lot will be going on on this issue in the next few weeks. ahead, cool, calm and collected. that was the kansas city mayor. have you seen this video? a protester rushes on the stage
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during his state of the city address and then is dragged off, but the mayor, he keeps on talking. the address must go on and he will join us later today to tell us what that is like. >> he didn't even flinch. up next we'll talk to ted turner's son, teddy. he finished fourth behind mark sanford in last night's special election for an open seat for a house seat in south carolina. and do not forget to watch "the lead" hosted by jake tapper already making waves. 4:00 p.m. eastern time. it's not what you think. it's a phoenix with 4 wheels. it's a hawk with night vision goggles. it's marching to the beat of a different drum. and where beauty meets brains. it's big ideas with smaller footprints. and knowing there's always more in the world to see. it's the all-new lincoln mkz.
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and rarely may lead to death. you are likely to bruise more easily on xarelto®, and it may take longer for bleeding to stop. tell your doctors you are taking xarelto® before any planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any conditions, such as kidney, liver or bleeding problems. ready to change your routine? ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. it all boils down to two in south carolina's extra special special election. former governor mark sanford will move forward into a runoff in the primary to replace congressman tim scott. >> i am incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support that we've seen tonight. i am incredibly humbled by the trust that's been placed in me
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and in this campaign. what we've earned is the honor of being on the playing field here for the next two weeks. >> now, it's still not enclosure who sanford will face in the republican runoff. the close race for second has triggered a recount. whoever wins that will go up against democrat elizabeth colbert bush, the sister of comedy central's stephen colbert. >> teddy turner's son finished fourth in a gop field of 16. he joins us from mt. pleasant, south carolina. you must be disappointed. an 8% showing, fourth. mark sanford seeming to, i don't know, recover some of his lost credibility with the people of south carolina. what's your take? >> well, you know, we ran a great race. we started at zero, we built our way up. you know, we had a couple logs thrown in our way. you know, some things that came out against us, but body a great race. it was a lot of fun. we had a great team.
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you've got to start somewhere. for the political game i'm a youngster. >> are you going to do this again? is this just a starting point for you? >> well, there's so much work left to be done. there's so many issues that we're not even touching on, especially our youth and their loss of the american dream. we've got some problems out there that folks aren't even addressing, and you know what, now that i've been in this game, it's really just -- i want to be here to help push the fight forward for the citizens. >> so the elephant in the room or the elephant in the district in this race was the issue of former governor mark sanford and how he went hiking on the appalachian trail when he was really with his argentine mistress. he ultimately divorced his wife, had a rough go of it right there. how big of an issue was that in your primary race? >> you know, that issue in itself was not a problem. you know, there was some other things that were going on while he was governor, while he was a congressperson that i think was much more critical of his record as a politician. but you know what, now that basically the primary is over
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and we have the two last folks, you know, now we have to rally behind our conservative candidates and help them keep the seat, and that's really the key. so, you know, the primary is so interesting because you're having to kind of fight against your own teammates. it's a horrible thing to have to go through. >> do you think you can beat elizabeth colbert bush? >> you know, they're going to come -- you hate to be a predictor in a way, but i think governor sanford does prevail in this runoff and when he does, he's going to face a formidable challenger and she's moderate, she's smart, she's articulate. she's going to have huge financial support. but you know this is a republican district. so it's going to be a battle royale and i think i'm going to enjoy seeing it from where i'm going to be sitting. >> all right, thanks so much, teddy turner. thank you for coming in here. you're always welcome here at
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cnn. we appreciate it. >> thank you very much. >> when he talks about the youth, that's what he's talking about. ahead on "starting point" a california teenager hopes it's an offer kate upton won't refuse. his video has gone viral. from ss starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family. no they don't. hey son. have fun tonight. ♪ ♪ back against the wall ♪ ain't nothin to me ♪ ain't nothin to me [ crowd murmurs ] hey! ♪ [ howls ] ♪
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good morning. welcome back. minding your business, stock futures point to a higher open. in just a few hours we're expecting to hear that the federal reserve will keep pumping tens of billions of dollars into the economy each month, but as the stock market nears all-time highs, a new poll shows that regular people, they're not buying it. the poll asked people if they had $1,000, would it be a good or a bad idea to invest in stocks? 55% said it would be a bad idea. guess what, john, all the major averages are up 7% to 10% so far this year, so skeptical battle-scarred regular folks are sitting on the sidelines and other people have been making a boatload of money. 25 minutes after the hour. trending this morning, prom is coming. this guy doesn't have a girlfriend. los angeles high school senior
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jake davidson took to youtube with a video request for supermodel kate upton to be his prom date and of course this has gone viral. >> you are the yin to my yang. i'm jewish, 5'9" on a really good day and i can't dance, at all. you're christian, 5'10", and that video should have won an oscar for best short film. you could say this is destiny. >> you really could say this is destiny. kate upton has responded to jake -- >> look at him doing pushups! >> he wants to be in shape for the prom. kate upton has tweeted you can call me tweety, if you want. how can i turn down that video? i'll check my schedule, so stay tuned. >> she's got a very busy schedule, though. >> where was the internet when i was in school? >> cindy crawford would have gotten a promise a ask, right? >> absolutely. >> is that romantic?
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>> is it romantic to go on youtube and have somebody woo you? i don't know if it's romantic, but she's got to be flattered, i guess. >> it also becomes a pr episode. >> other girls are not going to be happy to be upstaged at their prom. it's like wearing white to somebody else's wedding. >> do you think she would upstage the rest of the girls at the prom? >> john. i mean do you? >> that video is hilarious. you have to watch the whole thing. >> i hadn't thought of that. she's ruining the prom for a bunch of other girls. that's a really good point. >> glass half empty for that los angeles prom. ahead on "starting point" a lack of sleep can be hazardous to your waistline. we'll tell you about a new study that's a real wake-up call. i'm going home and going back to bed. and kansas city's mayor keeps his face cool in the face of a heavy rush. mayor sly james will join us. ♪ just one bite onsa rlof d ♪ with tasty grilled flavor and goodness to savor ♪ ♪ friskies grillers blend.
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something this delicious could only come from nature. discover nectresse™. the 100%-natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. nectresse™. sweetness naturally. welcome back, everyone. we have some new pictures right now of president obama arriving in jerusalem. it happens a short while ago. earlier he landed in tel aviv. the president spoke and said that israel is an ally and friend. >> i see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate america's
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unwavering commitment to israel's security and to speak directly to the people of israel and to your neighbors. we stand together because we share a common story. patriots determined to be a free people in our land. pioneers who forged a nation. heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom. and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse societies. >> so today the president will meet further with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. when netanyahu welcomed him in tel aviv there was a bit of a funny exchange. you have to watch. >> it is nice to get away from congress and then a hearty laugh from both men there.
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the president's trip will include a visit to the west bank and jordan as well. zoraida sambolin has the rest of today's top stories. fireworks in the murder trial of jodi arias. juan martinez got into a testy exchange with psychologist richard samuels. he diagnosed arias with amnesia. she's accused of stabbing to death boyfriend travis alexander. she claims self defense and that she doesn't remember that attack. samuels admitted on the stand that arias lied repeatedly to him during his evaluation of her. that led the prosecutor to question his credibility. >> how much are you getting paid per hour? >> i get paid per hour $250. >> and for $250 an hour, you're saying that this is -- you weren't paying enough attention to put whatever else was needed? >> i reviewed the report numerous times and i must admit i missed it. >> if convicted, ari achtas cou
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receive a death sentence. new allegations against the man who used to be the voice of elmo. kelvin stevens is suing him. the lawsuit alleges clash gave sheldon poppers as a sexual aid. poppers refers to capsules that give users a rush when broken and then inhaled. clash's attorney calls it meritless and barred by the statute of limitations. listen to this, sleep less, weigh more. new research suggests if you go just a few nights in a row with not enough sleep, you can experience almost immediate weight gain. researchers at the university of colorado studied 16 healthy men and women for two weeks. some were allowed to sleep nine hours a night, the rest five hours a night. those who stayed up late and got less sleep not only ate more, they also ate less healthy foods, consuming 6% more calories than the well rested group. i contend they didn't need this
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study, they could just come over here and we could prove this to be true. >> that is the worst study in morning show history. >> i'm just going to take a little nap for ten minutes. >> we know those extra five or ten pounds, like that. those state of the city speeches are pretty predictable, right? not this one. this state of the city speech was something to behold. check out what happened to kansas city mayor sly james as he was delivering his speech and someone rushed the stage. >> this man just got through talking about exactly [ bleep ] -- [ bleep ]. >> well, that was unfortunate. >> look at him, unfazed. mayor sly james finished his speech and he joins us this morning from kansas city. sir, you were so poised. i would have fallen to my knees. i'm not sure what i would have done. you just stood there. what were you thinking? >> actually i was just simply
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trying to figure out exactly what this gentleman was doing and why he was there. it happened fairly quickly, so there wasn't really a whole lot of time to react overtly. it was clear he had something to say and he was intent on saying it. >> you did not flinch. i mean not even the slightest little bit. in fact at the end there it looked like you sort of even pushed him off a little bit. it looked like you were in complete control there. i have to ask when you see something like that happen and when you go through it, do you have questions about the security that was around? >> no. let me divide the security issues into two parts. first of all, the two security officers, the two officers i have with me, casey jones and marlon bowie, i have nothing but complete faith in. they do their job extremely well. with regards to presecurity, you know, people said you should have had magnetometers. well, he didn't have a weapon so he would have walked in. at some point in time you have
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to understand, at least i feel i have to understand that people are going to be around me, and they're going to be around me all the time. i don't want to set up a situation where the security is such that people don't feel that i'm approachable. i'm not the president. i'm the mayor of a city. i'm supposed to be out with peep ea -- people and talking to them. >> mayor, what happened to the gentleman after that clip happened? was he brought up on any charges? what happened after that clip? >> well, as far as i know at this stage he was taken off to jail where he apparently remains. there is some news reports that he's apologized. you know, i don't have any animosity towards mr. black, i really don't. i understand the level of frustration he must feel. the only difference that he and i may actually even have is his method of delivery. i have my frustrations about things that are going on as well, but i also recognize the good things that are going on. and i think sometimes people
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when they find themselves in bad circumstances focus so much on the bad that they forget how blessed we really are in this city and in this country. so i wish him nothing but the best and perhaps sometime in the future we'll have a conversation and try and get some things straightened out. >> what was he -- what were his concerns? what were the points he wanted to make if he was able to? >> well, i'm not sure. he didn't really have much of a chance to get a full sentence or two out. my suspicion -- i mean my security folks, marlon and casey were there and dealt with it. my suspicion is that his frustrations are the same as my frustrations. we have, as every major city in this country, we have an area of our city where there is underemployment, nonfunctioning educational resources, people in need and in poverty and without hope where crime is high. i'm sure those were the things that he was concerned about, or at least some of them. i'm concerned about them as
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well. the problem is, is that there are no quick fixes to poverty and to educational systems that haven't worked for decades. we have to work on those things diligently, consistently and every day and that's what we're trying to do. >> mayor sly james, the most poised, calmest, coolest mayor on the planet. >> former marine. there's some marine training in there i have a feeling. >> thanks for joining us this morning. really appreciate it. ahead on "starting point." take a look at this. it's all about guns in america as democrats drop the assault weapon ban. it says shame on us, assault weapons bill is dead. and senate vendors asurrenders wins. adrian dantley from the street corner. yes, the nba hall of famer will tell us how he's giving back. and this is really a surprise.
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we're getting new details on a breaking story we brought you earlier. the executive director of colorado's corrections department shot and killed last night in his monument, colorado, home. >> 58-year-old tom clemons was appointed to the post in colorado two years ago after serving with the missouri corrections department for three decades. he is survived by a wife and two daughters. joining us on the phone is lieutenant jeff kramer from the el paso county sheriff's office. lieutenant, what can you tell us about what happened this morning? >> well, i can tell you we received a 911 call last night about 8:37 in the evening from a family member of mr. clements who was reporting a shooting. when we responded, we discovered appear adult male who was deceased who's since been identified as tom clements.
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our investigators during their response last night arrived on scene and were busy immediately in terms of processing the scene and had remained throughout the night and are still on scene this morning making sure they do a thorough job and their observations and collection of any evidence that is on scene. >> what can you tell us, sir, about a suspect, a motive and where you go from here in the investigation? >> well, at this point we have no known suspects in this case. we're certainly sensitive to the fact that because mr. clements served as the executive director for the colorado department of corrections that certainly opens up a dynamic that we're sensitive to regarding any number of people who may have a motive to perpetrate a crime such as this against him. so we're sensitive to that, but we're also remaining open-minded regarding other possible theories as far as this investigation is concerned, so it's just a matter of time as woe work through not only the evidence on the scene but also work through other
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information-gathering efforts as we move forward to hopefully answer some of those unanswered questions at this point. >> we'll let you get back to that investigation. jeff kramer from the el paso county sheriff's office in colorado. thanks for taking our call this morning. appreciate it. meanwhile, there is a big controversy after senate majority leader harry reid removed a proposed ban on assault weapons. reid said keeping it would guarantee a republican filibuster. >> i'm not going to try to put something on the floor that won't succeed. i want something that will succeed. i think the worst of all worlds would be to bring something to the floor and it dies there. >> you have to take a look at the cover of the "new york daily news." christine saw this immediately. it says "shame on us." >> surrounding the headlines are the pictures of the children killed december 14th in newtown, connecticut. every single one of their little faces. when you look at the "new york post" similarly it says "senate caves, nra wins." obviously politically in
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washington it said it would have had a republican filibuster if they kept that provision in. but a lot of people who are advocates that maybe something is different, something changed on december 14th in america, look at washington and don't think so anymore. >> christine covers congress. it shouldn't be a surprise that this didn't get to the floor? >> exact low. this played out exactly like everyone thought it was. all the attention around newtown didn't change the political dynamics in the senate. the question had always been would harry reid put this assault ban into a bigger package of gun control and then force republicans to vote against an entire gun control bill which would have been much harder than pulling this piece out individually and allowing one vote on it and it will go down as an amendment and then the broader gun control package, including background checks, will likely pass. so it allows the toughest, most controversial piece to get a vote separately and allow the rest of the package to move forward. it was just surprising only that
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the newtown massacre did really not change much of the political dynamic when it comes to guns. >> our other top story this morning -- >> in orlando, the thwarted attack with this guy with all this ammunition and guns and you wonder if not these kids at sandy hook, if that's not going to change the dynamic, what will? i mean it's the rhetorical question really because you can't imagine anything more jarring to the nation than what happened december 14th. >> as american society and congress accepted a certain level of this kind of news flow over and over again, a thwarted attack, an attack that went wrong, someone planning an attack, god forbid an attack that actually happened. >> we saw that with congresswoman giffords. a member of congress was shot in the head, and that didn't bring any kind of gun control afterward. so when one of their own is attacked and congress doesn't
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act, you really have to ask what would make them move forward. >> just quickly yes or no, do you think some kind of gun bill will get a vote in the senate? >> yes. >> thanks very much. ahead on "starting point," he was a college all american, had a hall of fame nba career and now adrian dantley is giving back to his community in a very surprising way. he'll join us live after the break. and do not forget to watch cnn's new show "the lead" hosted boy jake tapper today at 4:00 eastern time. starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family. let's see what you got. rv -- covered. why would you pay for a hotel? i never do. motorcycles -- check. atv. i ride those. do you? no. boat. house. hello, dear.
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so after an all american career at notre dame, adrian dantley went to greatness in the nba. these days the hall of famer is pounding the pavement instead of the hard court. it's part of his new job. he spends an hour each day as a crossing guard in silver spring, maryland. we are really lucky to be joined by adrian dantley at the school where he works. a.d., it's great to see you this morning. thank you for talking to us. >> how are you doing? it's pretty cold. >> so please explain to our audience where you're doing this. you made millions playing in the nba, you're a hall of famer. why this job? >> well, basically i didn't work last year so i got bored sitting
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around the house and usually i'm a routine guy, so i was in the weight room one day and some guys were in there talking and they said they like to do some things for some kids just a little bit, maybe one hour a day. and one guy said, you know what, my wife is a crossing guard. and i said to myself that would be a good job for me. that way i can stay busy, spend some time with the kids, do something for the community and that's why i'm here. >> and you know you're off the clock, we should point out, so there are no children waiting on the other side of that street. you finished your shift. so you work one hour a day. now, some folks have said that maybe, you know, you like the money or is it the benefits? what are the perks besides just being able to play with the kids? >> i think a lot of people talk about the benefits, but i am basically doing it for the kids. yes, you do have some benefits. it helps -- it pays for my
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health insurance. >> now that's smart. they say smart is the new rich. >> well, you know, in the nba -- in the nba even though youake a lot of money, they don't pay for your health premiums and me watching news and business and the premiums goes up every year. i always joke to people, i told my wife, i said, you know what, i don't care how much money people might think i might have, i'm not going to spend $17,000 on health insurance. that's what i spent last year. >> always a smart player, a.d., no doubt. >> a.d., do you get recognized? are the kids' dads coming up to you looking for autographs now? how is that going? >> well, when i started the school year in september, people who knew basketball, they knew me. but now in the last week, i think everybody in both schools know me now. >> does having the long arm span of a professional basketball
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player help you in your crossing guard duties? >> well, i'm at two intersections that's pretty dangerous. two kids almost got hit twice. i almost got hit once in the beginning in september. i was a rookie. and all the other crossing guards were kind of kidding me a little bit. but you have 146 crossing guards in montgomery county, and there's only three men. so when i had a meeting the first day of work, three guys, man, i'm so happy you joined us. these women give us a hard time. so i am in the minority here in the county. >> what a role reversal. what a role reversal because it's so interesting that he's the rookie now. >> more challenging tonight, the 1988 celtics or the scores of kids crossing the street every day? >> i think it's more dangerous out here than playing one on one and me taking a hard foul from
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an nba player. >> adrian dantley, thank you so much for coming on. good luck to you. nice to see you out there every day helping all those kids. >> that is so cool. >> thank you. >> that is so cool. those kids are so, so lucky to have him there. "the end point" is next.
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like hard-core ammo to just get down and undirty. >> it's household perfection. >> it is. >> you're a clean guy, chris. >> i'm a clean guy and always looking for a clean kitchen. so i will tune in. but i'm also like katie looking at the middle east. and i think with what's coming out of syria, the developments about who used chemical weapons and when, with the president there, things are starting to feel a little more belacose and i'm looking for signals in the public appearances and the press conferences that the prime minister and president will hold there, the talks are changing there. how fast is israel -- what kind of timeline are they running on before they want to strike iran. where is the president on that and is syria going to overtake this. i'm watching it closely. and i have a little worry that we could be headed down a road toward some kind of attack and violence. >> right now the u.s. not wanting to say that they have confirmation that there are chemical weapons in syria, but we'll watch that closely.
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chris, katie, thanks so much. that's it for us. "newsroom" with carol costello begins right now. happening now in the newsroom, breaking overnight, the president landing in israel. new urgency this hour as evidence mounts that syria may have used chemical weapons on its own people. >> do you believe chemical weapons were used by the syrian military? >> i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used. >> we're live on the ground. also, bachmann, bash, a new meaning to avoiding the question. >> you made some accusations against the president that were either questionable or untrue. can you talk to me about that? >> our dana bash trying to get answers from the congresswoman. >> a dog handler and four americans are killed? >> congresswoman, you're the one that brought it up. >> victory for stephen colbert's
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sister, winner in the south carolina primary. now she could be up against mark sanford. >> i look forward to a spirited contest between now and april 2nd. >> you're live in the cnn newsroom. good morning. thank you very much for joining us. i'm carol costello. unbelievable news out of colorado this morning. the executive director of the colorado department of corrections, the man in charge of all colorado prisons, has been killed. tom clements was found shot at his home last night near colorado springs in his upscale neighborhood. now, across the state the governor has ordered all flags to be lowered in his honor and the search is now on for whoever it was who is responsible for this. but so far there are no suspects. jim spellman joins us by phone, he's in colorado. jim, do you have any more information for us? >> reporter: well, here's what we know at this point, carol. it was around 8:00 -- rather 8:30 last night local time when a knock came at the door of tom
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clements' home in an area called the black forest north of colorado springs. it's a pretty rural area, heavily wooded. and the initial information that the sheriff's office has is that he was shot in the chest as he answered the door. he was then declared dead on the scene. they immediately began a massive manhunt. it is again a heavily wooded area. they were not able to find anybody overnight in the initial parts of the investigation. now, kusa, our affiliate here, is reporting that the colorado bureau of investigation has been brought up. that's a significant ramping up of the investigation. they're a statewide agency that has a lot more resources that they can bring to bear on this manhunt. they don't have a suspect at this point. that's their main focus at this point. as you would imagine, the fact that he was director of corrections, they're going to be looking at that hard, if somebody in the prison system somehow was related to his death. carol. >> ironically, jim, this murder comes as colorado's governor is set to sign three new gun bills into law. i guess police are checking every angle. could this be one?
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>> reporter: you know, i don't know. tom clements is not a guy that has a real high profile. he's not a guy that you see out doing press conferences or speaking about things like this. he's been here in colorado since january of 2011. he worked for decades in missouri and was appointed by governor hickenlooper but he's not a guy you see out talking on these kind of issues so i'll not sure that would be something high on the list of investigators, carol. >> and just -- take us through what police believe happened. he got just a knock on the door. he answered the door. he was shot. was there anybody else in the house at the time? >> reporter: well, we know that a family member unspecified called 911 right away. he's married, he has two daughters. not sure of the ages of the girls. but it was somebody in the family that called 911. this is an area where a knock on your door at 8:30 would be pretty unusual. nobody really walked out there, like i said, it's out in a heavily wooded area. but he apparently opened the
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door and was shot immediately. so there's no indication that the family member who was home saw anybody or gave any kind of description at this point. i'll have to see what their investigation finds, carol. >> and this has shaken the state of colorado. i mean that's to be expected. the governor is going to hold a news conference a little later this morning, right? >> reporter: absolutely. i mean this just crosses a line. you know, this crosses a line. we hold these people up, we give them these great responsibilities to do these things and it's just stunning that somebody would just knock on his door and shoot this man, you know. a father, a husband, in the chest and kill him. >> unbelievable. well, woe expee expect the gove speak in just about an hour. jim spellman, thanks for reporting for us from colorado. now let's head overseas.